Japan's western region of Osaka will hold the Olympic torch relay without spectators as record coronavirus infections prompted its government to declare a medical emergency.
The withdrawal due to COVID-19 concerns will be the first time North Korea has missed a Summer Olympics since it boycotted Seoul in 1988 amid the Cold War.
About 10,000 runners will take part in the four-month relay, which will go through all of Japan's 47 prefectures and visit a public that polls show is strongly against the Games.
About 1 million tickets are reported to have been sold to fans from outside Japan.
Hiroshi Sasaki reportedly suggested that well-known entertainer Naomi Watanabe, who is heavy-set, could perform at the Games as an "Olympig."
Yoshiro Mori said women talk too much at a Japanese Olympic Committee board meeting early this month, setting off a storm of criticism at home and abroad.
The International Olympic Committee said it will not urge Yoshiro Mori to resign, saying his apology was enough.
Tokyo is battling a surge of COVID-19 cases that prompted the national government last week to call a state of emergency.
A senior member of the International Olympic Committee has said he ``can't be certain'' the postponed Tokyo Olympics will open in just over six months.
Athletes arriving in Tokyo for next year's Olympic Games will be exempt from the 14-day isolation period.